Sporting clays dates back to the early 1900s and is often described as golf with a shotgun.
Unlike the confined field of trap and skeet, clays is set on a walking course in a natural environment.
The shooter moves from station to station where targets are presented differently at each station to mimic hunting situations for species such as quail, grouse, pheasant, dove, ducks, geese, and rabbits.
Target presentation names have root in game species such as "springing-teal" and "running-rabbit."
Skeet dates back to the early 1900s as a way to simulate the criss-crossing hunting action of flying upland birds such as dove.
The shooter rotates through different stations along a semi-circle as targets from two opposing houses (one at each corner of the semi-circle) "pass" across the field.
The 2-target presentations are thrown one at a time, and at the same time for an additional challenge.
Trap dates back to the late 1700s and was designed to simulate the flight path of flushing game birds such as grouse, pheasant, and quail to hone a hunter's skills.
The targets are thrown from a single location, in front of the shooter, who moves in a semi-circle to change the angle and difficulty of the going-away shot.